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This Technology related article has not received a brainstar for quality. Please consider expanding the article appropriately. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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Homeopathy is more and more claiming to be applied nanotech. Some mention would be worthwhile, no? Scream!! (talk) 15:41, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Go for it! - David Gerard (talk) 11:58, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
This idea seems more like confirmation bias than anything else. The fact that you're asking someone to Google "homeopathy nanotechnology" will inevitably bring up the most fringe ideas connecting the two. Even if they are most often in direct conflict, such as Christianity and Transhumanism. Most people researching Drexler's version of nanotech would "unapologetically favor ... 'Western' medicine" (except Ray Kurzweil who believes in the vitamin nonsense). A good starting indication might be Robert Freitas's section on naturophilia. He pretty much disses the concept of alternative/natural medicine. Back in the 1800's, it was natural to perform open surgery on a conscious patient without painkillers. Next, it was natural for them to be decomposed alive from lack of sanitation (sepsis). Currently, it's natural for you to slowly, painfully decompose at the molecular level until your brain dissolves you die of "natural causes". Newton1030 (talk) 00:38, 22 February 2023 (UTC)

Term not used by experts?[edit]

The state of New York just built the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (which shares a campus with SUNY Albany but is officially separate now), and they definately use the term nanotechnology. So, even if the majority of the experts aren't using it now, the cultural shift is to move towards it. Actually, the existence of colleges dedicated to it might be something that should go in the article. --PosthumanHeresy (talk) 14:13, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Where did you get "term not used by experts"? It's used a whole lot, and the article says so - David Gerard (talk) 16:40, 25 January 2016 (UTC)


Has anyone on this wiki even read nanosystems? Because this article contains many misconceptions and a few outright fallacies that I'm pretty sure are addressed in nanosystems. — Unsigned, by: Dancreepermaker / talk / contribs

If you think something's amiss, then go forth and edit the article! Worst case, we revert your changes. Just remember to bring sources in ref tags! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:02, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Pretty sure Armondikov (an actual chemist, who has argued nanotechnology at length with its chemically illiterate propopents and wrote large chunks of this article) has - David Gerard (talk) 15:35, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
In particular, he wrote the chunk you just tried to delete - David Gerard (talk) 09:46, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I deleted that chunk because while it may be amusing to "Imagine what manufacturing would look like if your machines' gears rotated randomly, the size of the gears' teeth fluctuated randomly, everything (gears, grippers, working materials) was coated in glue and the whole factory burst into flames at the first hint of rust." many if not most of the statements about are addressed in nanosystems. and as for Armondikov having read his blog post and its comments section while I'm convinced that he does seem to have a knowledge of chemistry as evidenced by his ability to use Science words however that is the only thing that Armondikov convinces me of aside from the fact that he was unable (or unwilling) to respond to MOB's counterarguments. so yeah aside from Armondikov who ELSE on this wiki has read nanosystems?Dancreepermaker (talk) 14:29, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
cool story, bro - David Gerard (talk) 14:53, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Class Rating[edit]

This article should be reviewed for bronze, silver or gold status. I'm unclear about the procedure and cannot find where to add or nominate it. --Vital Forces (talk) 15:40, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Bronze: just add the bronze icon if you think it warrants it.
  • Silver: best discuss on talk first (say, a week)
  • Gold: complicated faff that also includes a week's discussion

- David Gerard (talk) 14:33, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

I think it's silver level. --Vital Forces (talk) 23:32, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Could do with polishing, but it's got the material IMO - David Gerard (talk) 22:26, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
RationalWiki:Article rating should have your bases covered. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:50, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
I'd say it has potential for silver but seems worthy for bronze at a first glance. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:51, 5 November 2017 (UTC)


This article claims that an engineering design defies physics. If that's actually correct, you should be able to provide a specific law being broken. Then, quantify how much the physical limit has been exceeded. There's also a few appeals to authority in this discussion, such as "you must be a chemist to know what you're talking about." Any reasonably educated person can make an evidence-based conclusion. Newton1030 (talk) 00:23, 12 February 2023 (UTC)

The claim about how it's physically impossible also seems like a slippery slope. If you want to be most accurate, perhaps take a different approach. The nanofactory doesn't defy physics per se (because it's a conservative design). The bigger issue is that Drexler assumes somebody will fund a pathway from protein engineering to positional assembly and eventually to APM. That takes serious effort and isn't profitable. Calculations of manufacturing efficiency also match scaling laws, assuming superlubricity dominates mechanics more than vdW forces. The bigger issue is his certainty (frequent use of the word "will") that specific things will happen in Engines of Creation and Radical Abundance. Again the math is actually quite hard to argue, I find myself using logical fallacies to justify why he's false. A lot of transhumanism and the idea of shape-shifting nanotech are pure science fiction; we should still refrain from encouraging that though.

I have seen the admin's attempts to remove the Foresight Institute's Wikipedia page, so there is clearly a desire to point out flaws in Drexler's ideas. However if we are in fact spreading actual misinformation, our priority is to be objective. Whether perpetuating fear of grey-goo or downplaying it with incorrect explanations, it's not supported by physics and (most importantly) recent experimental evidence (Superlubricity proven in experiment 22 years after Drexler's thesis). It could be made better similar to the cryonics page. There, it doesn't state that physics has been violated for certain, rather that participating is an act of faith and we can't trust the long-term survivability of any corporation. We could explain how friction is a serious problem, how Drexler's design avoided it, and concerns the design may not be producible. Hence friction is a problem because the workaround cannot be created. Newton1030 (talk) 00:50, 12 February 2023 (UTC)

@David Gerard As someone with competent knowledge of chemistry compared to Armondikov, I'd like to rewrite this article. Some things said were objectively false or unnecessarily derisive, possibly motivated by religious biases against the ideas represented by future technology. Admonikov clearly did not write this with an objective, rational mindset - you need to be skeptical of both sides of the argument! What remains is a jumbled mess that (a) gives no coherent message and (b) doesn't properly explain the actual faults in some of Drexler's arguments. Since you're the admin and would probably revert changes you don't like, I'd need to hear your opinion first. Until then I'll stick to minor edits. Newton1030 (talk) 03:17, 15 February 2023 (UTC)

It seems the admin did this and vandalized the Wikipedia page, and had an argument with Ralph Merkle personally in 2015. I'm starting to think it's almost certain he will revert my commits :( I'll just keep adding to this talk page and making the RationalWiki article more evidence-based until he comes out of absentia. Newton1030 (talk) 03:35, 20 February 2023 (UTC)

If you are contemplating a complete rewrite of the article, why not create a draft version in your personal space, for example, at User:Newton1030/Nanotechnology? This might be a better approach for you than doing minor edits to the existing page.
David is still around but he is somewhat inactive and is no longer focused on day-to-day operations here. If you encounter issues that require moderator intervention, please see the moderation notice board. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 01:34, 22 February 2023 (UTC)
I think rewriting this page to add arseclownery is indeed likely to be reverted - David Gerard (talk) 21:48, 22 February 2023 (UTC)
Hence, why I did not invest time into doing it. Although I think calling something "ass clownery" is an argumentum ad hominem and poisoning the well - sort of assuming my work will turn out as something terrible, before seeing said work. Please be free to correct me, question the accuracy of any of my statements - just keep the criticisms technical. Newton1030 (talk) 20:05, 23 February 2023 (UTC)
@Armondikov @David Gerard I respectfully ask you to partake in a debate. Newton1030 (talk) 02:53, 24 February 2023 (UTC)
lol - David Gerard (talk) 19:03, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
My bad - the article is probably good as it is right now. What needs to change to receive a brain star? Newton1030 (talk) 21:05, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Armondikov hasn't edited in five years. Chillpilled (talk) 23:51, 17 March 2023 (UTC)